Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Tikal, temples and jungle

View from Temple IV, with the bigger temples coming through the forest

It was nice to spend sometime with Remy, but now I have crossed the border back to Guatemala and I am in Maya Country.
Today I got up extremely early, too early actually, and went up from the town I am staying in, Santa Elena to Tikal.
Tikal are the main Mayan ruins in this country, and one of its main tourist attractions.
I went really early to avoid the hordes of tourists who descend on it, but also cos we are in the rainy season and we are getting torrential rains every afternoon.
Double click to enlarge view from Temple V

I have been to some spectacular human creations, both in this trip and before, and I have also seen some great landscapes. What makes Tikal so special is how Nature and Human work have merged in this amazing site.
Temple of Jaguar, and please not really cute Israeli guy next to me

After the decline of the Mayans the jungle took back what it had once owned and for hundreds of years Tikal was lost. It was not until 1848 that the first scientific expedition was sent.
Grand Plaza

When I first got to the Grand Plaza I thought it was pretty impressive, but the best bit is to climb to the top Temple IV. The forest canopy extends as far as the eye can see, punctured by the top of the highest temples.
Temple V has also a great views, but the stairs are far too steep. I was starting to feel nauseous about walking down when a French guy next to me had a little panic attack, and would not move up or down, which made me snap out of my panic as someone was more scared than me.
Scary Temple V, there were two vultures on the top, probably waiting for one of us to fall down the very steep stairs

Tikal is also great for its wildlife. I managed to see Spider Monkeys, that I had not seen before, and some toucans.
Spider Monkey

It may not be as elaborate as Angor Wat but some of the views are probably the best I have ever seen.


  1. WOW great pics....I want to go!!

  2. Did you know.....Tikal was used as background scenery of the Rebel base on Yavin 4 in the film Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope.....

  3. No I didn´t
    I thought all of that was Computer Generated, it is one of the most spectacular sites I have ever been to.

  4. Amazing Temple and beautiful site! They selected one of the best place in which building their home.